Dear Microsoft,

You don’t know me though I have been one of your earliest and most avid users, from MS-BASIC on the original Radio Shack TRS-80s to being one of the original Surface Pro users (I have bought two Surface Pros and two Surface Pro 2s). In fact, it was the TRS-80 and MS-BASIC that got me into the computer industry, but that’s a story of its own and too long for this letter.

I was once known as a Microsoft “evangelist” and was in the original group of TechNet members and used my excitement for all-things-Windows over the years to change the direction of some pretty large companies from non-Windows. Some of my more notable accomplishments were to turn Shell Oil from IBM OS2 and IBM Lan Manager to Windows and MS LAN Manager, and Enron from Novell NetWare and Sun/Unix to MS LAN Manager and Windows NT.  And I was not even *in* the IT groups for either company.

While I was at Shell, I completely rewrote an internal system, Management Information Graphics (MIG), and pushed for its submission to the Windows World Competition in 1993 – and it won. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to be at WW to represent the system, so I missed out on shaking Bill Gates’ hand or being the judge at future competitions.

I also invented the “Buddy List” using Visual Basic in the early days of AOL before they included the functionality. I never thought to patent it. 🙁

I have been a member of MSDN Universal for several years, but lapsed on membership due to financial reasons (like raising five kids).

Over the years I searched for what I considered to be the *perfect* PC for me, one that would be portable yet powerful, and wrote about it at times on my blog at Each one I purchased came SO CLOSE, but always seemed to lack *something*.

That is, until the Surface Pro. For the first time I had a tablet that I could use as a desktop without lugging an unwieldy keyboard (be it fold-over or separate) and used a REAL STYLUS instead of just capacitive touch (or fake-finger stylii). It had a reasonable amount of power, but wasn’t that hot for gaming (which I did less and less of on PC anyway).

The Surface 2 Pro was even better with a reasonable amount of storage and even more power and memory.

So why am I writing to you?

I have been looking at and drooling over the Surface Pro 3 ever since it came out, but I have been out of work for a total of a full year over the last 18 months, and although I am working now, I won’t be able to afford one for many months to come. Sure, I can (and will) keep using my Surface Pro 2, but I know that I could do so much more and much faster with the Surface Pro 3.

Is there *any* way we can cut a special deal on a Surface Pro 3? I know you have the Surface Pro 4s coming out “real soon now”, but I could really use the Surface Pro 3 now. Maybe I can work out a payment plan with you (though my credit pretty much sucks right now).

You can use this and me in any advertising you want, if this could sweeten the deal; but I’m not young, good looking, or hip enough to appeal to much of anyone.

I *can* write, though, and promise to do as much of that as you want (within reason) if we can work something out.

Your humble and tech-hungry servant,

Jim Baker